While March Madness dominates intercollegiate athletics, another group of collegians works out amidst coaches’ whistles, endures bloody, 12-hour practices, and cheers on teammates preparing for the national championship in meat-judging, in which about 40 colleges compete, according to a March Wall Street Journal report. Coaches at powerhouses like Colorado State and South Dakota State say skills such as evaluating T-bone cutting and spotting whether a pig has too much back fat come with determination and concentration (and, of course, practice, as one coach said it all comes down to time spent in the meat locker, at 38 degrees (Fahrenheit)). (And pro scouts are watching from the stands, representatives of U.S. meat companies, seeking talent.)


Fine Points of the Law 

Italy’s highest appeals court ruled in March that it is not illegal for a woman to lie in a police investigation if the reason is to cover up her adulterous affair. Court of Cassation judges said that her honor is more important than providing intimate information about her lover. 

The North Carolina Court of Appeals voted 2-1 in February to approve a worker compensation claim for only one of a woman’s breast-implant replacements, ruling that the other implant ruptured (in a job-related accident) only because it had been improperly installed. (The dissenting judge said, even so, the compensation fund should pay for the second replacement, too, because to achieve their purpose, both breasts must be aligned properly on the chest.) 


The Entrepreneurial Spirit! 

When Johnny Diablo’s year-old vegan restaurant failed to catch on in Portland, Ore., last year, he converted the space into Casa Diablo’s Gentlemen’s Club, which is what he believes is the world’s only vegan strip club. He has no rule against meat-eating dancers, he told Willamette Week newspaper in February, but won’t permit leather, fur, silk or wool outfits on stage (no “murder victims” in the club, he said).  

Cosmetics from the American company Blue Q, under the “Lookin’ Good for Jesus” brand urging users to “Get Tight with Christ,” were pulled from stores in Singapore in February due to complaints, but Blue Q said it’s not abandoning that line of hand and body creams, lip balm, breath spray and bubble bath. (Of course, Blue Q also markets similar cosmetics under such brands as “Dirty Girl,” “Cute as Hell,” “Total Bitch” and “Virgin/Slut,” as well as a car air-freshener by its brand “Cat Butt.” 


Science on the Cutting Edge 

A team of researchers from the University of Calgary and the Tokyo Institute of Technology proudly announced in February that they had successfully stored “nothing” inside a puff of gas and then had managed to retrieve that same “nothing.” That “nothing” is called a “squeezed vacuum,” and the physicists tell us that a light wave can be manipulated so that its phases are of uncertain amplitude, then the light itself removed so that only the “uncertainty” property of the wave remains. 

In February, the South Korean cell phone company KTF announced a new voice-analysis program for its customers to enable them to evaluate their sincerity when calling a lover. The caller can point the phone’s camera at himself and see a meter on the screen measuring his own passion, then receive a text message afterward noting voice expressions by the person receiving the call (surprise, honesty, etc.). 



COPYRIGHT 2008 CHUCK SHEPHERD   

 

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